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Faculty Success Programs, Workshops, and Activities

The Provost’s Office coordinates professional and research development opportunities often in the form of discussion sessions and workshops. Occassionally, faculty across campus lead various pedagogical activities and those resources can be found here.

General Information

The Provost’s Office coordinates professional and research development opportunities often in the form of discussion sessions and workshops.

Will vary depending upon the workshop, but generally open to all Drake faculty and staff with interests or needs in the relevant area.

The Provost’s Office hosts a number of sessions and workshops devoted to specific topics on teaching and learning. These workshops are announced at the beginning of each semester and are open to all Drake faculty and staff, though some workshops will only allow for limited numbers of participants.

More formal workshops are also available, sometimes with limited available seats from May through August. Announcements about these workshops and development opportunities are sent to faculty and/or staff for whom they are most relevant, which is often all faculty and staff. These workshops focus on topics responding to particular faculty and staff needs. Topics for these workshops have included using writing effectively in the classroom; writing instruction in the FYS program; and developing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects.

Information about applying for and attending these workshops and about eligibility for supplemental stipendiary support for attendees is distributed via email shortly after spring break.

Learn More

Arthur Sanders, Associate Provost,

Faculty Writing Project

This project is designed to help faculty across the University make writing a more meaningful part of their teaching. Participating faculty collaborate over a semester with the coordinator of writing instruction on the development of a writing assignment or writing project and strategies for responding to student writing. Participants meet as a group three times a semester to discuss issues and concerns pertinent to the use and instruction of writing in their courses.

Fall Semester:  Priority to faculty teaching FYS courses, but all faculty are eligible.
Spring Semester: Priority is given to faculty who participated in the Writing Across the Curriculum or Writing in FYS workshops, but all faculty are eligible.

Faculty receive a stipend for participating in the writing project.  After the initial meeting(s) with the coordinator of writing instruction to develop a writing assignment or project, participants receive half of the stipend; the balance is provided after completing the pilot.

Call for applications for each program goes out during the prior semester.

Jody Swilky, Professor of English and Coordinator of Writing Instruction,, 271-2853

Contemplative Practices Learning Community 2019

Contemplative Practices Learning Community is in its 3rd year. The learning community is open to faculty and staff (although discussions may be around teaching and faculty experiences, there is something for everyone, and all are welcome). There might be small stipend for participation depending on the funding. The learning community will meet every other week depending on the participants’ availability (we will do our best to find a common time!)

We learn, practice, and explore together and support one another as we tip into practicing to be more still, more accepting, more non-attached, and more mindful.

This group is facilitated by Bengu E. Tekinalp, PhD

Below is some more information about the contemplative practices in higher education:

Contemplative pedagogy and inquiry have gained momentum in higher education.

A growing body of research demonstrates that secular contemplative practices such as mindfulness meditation have a positive impact on student learning, achievement, and these methods help build a sense community. Contemplative practices support learning through increasing the capacity to concentrate even in the presence of internal and external distractions and help reducing stress and anxiety. Contemplative methods are shown to improve in interracial, intercultural relationships as well as help minority students to cope with pressures associated with stereotype threat. Contemplative practices focus on direct experience, values individual’s inner wisdom through facilitating deep connection with and concentration on complex ideas. These practices help individuals stay focused on complex ideas and broaden one’s awareness. Contemplative practices allow individuals to go in and out of different perspectives without being dogmatized by any. In summary, contemplative practices quiet the mind to cultivate a personal capacity for deep concentration and insight. Contemplative practices help to bring different aspects of one’s self into focus, hence developing trust in one’s inner knowledge and wisdom, help to clarify personal values and compassion and therefore help stimulate an awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings. Using contemplative practices in college classes facilitate developing the capacity for deeper concentration, quieting and calming the mind and cultivating a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Ultimately, contemplative practices help to build a sense of community and interconnectedness.


Meetings Notes & Communication

September 11, 2019 - Email Communication

Faculty Writing Group - Fall 2019

Faculty Writing Group, Fall 2019 (August 30, September 20, October 18, November 1, and December 6, Fridays, 11-12:30pm, Room-Meredith 207)

Drake faculty members are invited to participate in a Faculty Writing Group (FWG) focused on working effectively on our scholarship. We will meet from 11-12:30 monthly on Fridays. The FWG will be co-facilitated by Nate Holdren (LPS) and En Li (History). Our goal will be to help set ourselves up to make progress on our scholarship over the semester. We will read Joli Jensens book Write No Matter What;and discuss it to the degree that participants find it useful. The session will also include discussion/workshop of the faculty members own scholarship and on-site writing time.

This writing group is generously supported by the Provost's Office. There are spots for ten faculty participants. Should more than ten individuals express interest, priority shall be given to 1) Those who actively participated in the previous Faculty Writing Groups, 2) Tenure-track faculty who are not yet tenured, 3) Faculty who are members of groups under-represented. 

Participants who attend all five sessions will receive a stipend of $150. Light lunches will be provided for four sessions (exclude the introductory meeting in August).

If you have questions, please contact the co-facilitators of the FWG, Nate Holdren ( and En Li (